Better than Happy: More than a Pig Chaser

Have you ever seen anyone trying to catch a greased pig?

Well, if you’ll look around, you’ll see many people out there chasing something that just can’t seem to catch..and that’s the greased pig of happiness.  Yes, I said that.  Read it in a very Redneck voice if you’d like..

 5 reasons why chasing happiness is like catching a greased pig:

1.  It’s slippery.

When you focus on trying to catch happiness, it keeps slipping out of your grasp.  Have you ever thought –

  • If I only got this job, I’d be happy.  But, guess what…in a little while, after you’ve got that job…it doesn’t bring you happiness.
  • If I only got this relationship to work, I’d be happy.  But, after you get the relationship going, you find that maybe that didn’t quite make you happy either.

The point is – if you’re seeking happiness…it just keeps slipping away…like a greased pig.

2.  It’s messy.

In fact, when you chase a greased pig, you wind up in a pit with other nasty, messy, poopy animals.  Gross, huh?

Now, what about if you wind up in the rat race.  You wind up chasing money above all else.    You chase the happiness that is found in jumping over your colleagues.   And, you wind up clawing and gnashing out every last ounce of energy you have, and you wind up at the end of the day surrounded by other frustrated, nasty, messy people who are ultimately as unsatisfied as you are.    Sure, it sounds like a fun game, but it turns out badly, and the company is nasty.

3.  The pig kicks.

It turns out the way to catch a greased pig is to grab it by the hind legs.  This is known.  However, there’s a problem…sometimes the pig kicks.  So, instead of a pig catching trophy, you wind up with bloody shins, bruised forearms, and a weird pig infection.  Not fun.

Same with chasing happiness.  Sometimes, you don’t really get happiness, but you get close.  You grab it by the heels…and you get kicked…and it hurts.

4.  It’s lonely.

When you’re so focused on catching a greasy pig, you forget connect with others.  It’s hard to connect deeply with others when you are so focused on the greasy pig.

When you focus on self, you shut others out.  When you shut others out, people don’t like you.  The more you force others out, the less connections you have.  The less connections you have, the lonelier you are.  Thus, you are sad.  This is back by both common sense and studies.

5.  You might just catch the pig.

Let’s say you catch the pig.  Great!  Now, you have a nasty, squirming pig that really all you can do with is fry, roast, or grill.  Oh wait, you might also make some delicious bacon.  And, I love bacon.

But, you know then thing about bacon?  It seems like you always need more.  There’s never enough bacon!

I want to get out of that mess.  I want more than greasy hands and everyday bacon.

Have you ever heard this story?

One day a fisherman was lying on a beautiful beach, with his fishing pole propped up in the sand and his solitary line cast out into the sparkling blue surf. He was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and the prospect of catching a fish.

About that time, a businessman came walking down the beach trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the fisherman sitting on the beach and decided to find out why this fisherman was fishing instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family. “You aren’t going to catch many fish that way,” said the businessman. “You should be working rather than lying on the beach!”

The fisherman looked up at the businessman, smiled and replied, “And what will my reward be?”

“Well, you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!” was the businessman’s answer.

“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman, still smiling.

The businessman replied, “You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat, which will then result in larger catches of fish!”

“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman again.

The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions. “You can buy a bigger boat, and hire some people to work for you!” he said.

“And then what will my reward be?” repeated the fisherman.

The businessman was getting angry. “Don’t you understand? You can build up a fleet of fishing boats, sail all over the world, and let all your employees catch fish for you!”

Once again the fisherman asked, “And then what will my reward be?”

The businessman was red with rage and shouted at the fisherman, “Don’t you understand that you can become so rich that you will never have to work for your living again! You can spend all the rest of your days sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!”

The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “And what do you think I’m doing right now?”

Source: Heinrich Boll

So, the question is, can we find something better than happiness?

Well, it turns out there is, and you can find it.  You might find it where you least expect it (see the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount).

And, what might really surprise you is how you get it.   And, let me tell you something, that story is better than bacon.  

It’s dynamite.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *